Kid Ran Up Bills of £900 on FarmVille

The game may be virtual, but as one mother found out the hard way, the popular Facebook game FarmVille can cost you some very real cash:

A mother has warned of the risk of children spending hundreds of pounds on "free" online games available through Facebook after her 12-year-old son ran up bills of more than £900 without her knowledge.

The woman, who prefers to remain anonymous, discovered last month that her son had spent £905 on FarmVille. He had emptied his own savings account of £288 and had used her credit card to the tune of £625 to pay the bills. [...]

She contacted her credit card company, HSBC, but was told she would only qualify for a refund if she reported her son to the police and obtained a crime number. "He would be cautioned and I have been told that this caution would stay with him. Obviously the idea of a stupid farm simulation jeopardising his future earnings is not something that I want to consider," she said.

She added that her son was "very shocked" when confronted with the amount he had spent, but it was clear he knew what he was doing. "When I asked him why he did it he said that they had brought out 'good stuff that I wanted'."

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So that's how Zynga, the maker of FarmVille, can afford luxurious employee perks like free gourmet food, massages, and spins on the boss' Lamborghini.


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The woman was stupid for letting a 12 year old on FB in the first place. Even FB's TOS says you have to be 13.
She got what she deserved.

I can't tell you how many stupid parents I encounter who let their 9, 10, 11 year olds on FB to play the games.
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This stuff has been happening since the Internet went public. My husband had a friend who used my husband's family's Commodore 64 and ran up the bill on Quantum Link (now AOL) Proof in point that parents need to WATCH what their kids do on the computer. Also, proof in point to check your credit card transactions online at least once a week. Too bad for them, expensive lesson but it won't happen again.
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